I have a sweet tooth. I can’t seem to fight it any longer (though to be honest, I’ve never tried that hard.) Why should I, when sweet things are soooo delicious? Now before you lecture me on the evils of sugar, let’s keep in mind that not all sweets are unhealthy—whole fruit contains natural sugars, sure, but it’s also packed with vitamins, micronutrients and plenty of fiber.
With peaches, berries, and watermelon in season, who needs candies, cakes or cookies? And while Cobblers and pies are great, there some simpler ways to vary your fruit intake, with no baking necessary!
D A T E P A S T E
This sticky, delicious paste is a multi-purpose sweetener—you can mix it with coconut milk and put it in coffee, use it as a sugar substitute, spread it on toast or even just eat it by the spoonful!
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
- Pack your pitted dates real tight in a Mason type glass jar.Pour the water right over, cover and let soak overnight.
- Alternatively, you could cover loosely with a non-reactive lid and pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes. You don’t want to cook the dates or even heat them up. You only want to get them nice and soft.
- After the dates have soaked or have been softened in the microwave, transfer the entire content of the jar, including the water, to the bowl of your food processor.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and process for 5 – 8 minutes or until really smooth and creamy.
- Transfer back to the glass jar and place in the fridge where it will keep for about 3 months.
Read more here.
A L M O N D B U T T E R F U D G E
Almond butter, dates (again!), raw cacao, and coconut milk, mixed together and frozen to make a delicious fudge. It sounds amazing. And it IS amazing. My mom and I made it together and nearly burst into tears from the deliciousness. Plus, it keeps in the freezer—so if you can control yourself, it’ll last for ages!
- 14 ounces (about 17) Medjool dates
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
In a saucepan, cook dates in a little boiling water for 5 minutes, until they’re soft and stick together. Drain excess water and set dates aside to cool. In a food processor, blend almond butter, coconut oil, cacao powder and soaked dates until a sticky paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Line an 8″-square baking dish with wax paper and scoop in fudge mixture. Freeze until set, at least 3 hours. Cut into pieces and wrap in wax paper; store in freezer. Remove from freezer to soften a few minutes before eating.
Read more here.
F R O Z E N F R U I T P O P S
Sweet and refreshing, these treats don’t even require you to have a fancy popsicle mold! You can pretty much use any fruit, any juice, and any paper/plastic cups. Yum! You can find the recipe here, but feel free to improvise.
P E A C H C H I A J A M
Sometimes breakfast can just feel like an extra chance to eat dessert. Nothing wrong with that! This peach chia jam is all fruity goodness, plus honey or agave and chia seeds, which will keep you feeling fuller all day. Make this quick, while the peaches are still fresh and delicious!
- 2 cups chopped peaches*
- 1 banana, mashed (optional)
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1-2 Tbsp sweetener (agave syrup or honey)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Put peaches, banana (if using) and sweetener of your choice in your blender, and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a pint jar and stir in chia seeds with a spoon.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to thicken, at least 1 hour.
F R O Z E N Y O G U R T B L U E B E R R I E S
Simple, yet delicious–coat some blueberries in yogurt and freeze them for a tasty and filling snack anytime.
- – 1 (6 oz) Container of fresh blueberries
- – 1 (6 oz) container nonfat blueberry Greek yogurt. (NOTE: I have also used honey, vanilla and strawberry. All are delish!)
- Start by washing your blueberries and lining a small baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Using a toothpick, dip each blueberry into the Greek yogurt and swirl until the blueberry is nicely coated with yogurt. Place on baking sheet. Continue this until all blueberries are coated.
- Place baking sheet into freezer, and let freeze for at least an hour.
- After about an hour, your Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries can be placed in a ziplock baggie and stored in the freezer. Take out what you need for snack time and enjoy!
Read more here.
F R U I T Y S A L S A
This pretty red salsa is as sweet as can be. This recipe includes instructions to bake your own cinnamon crisps, but if you’re feeling laid back you can purchase some cinnamon chips like these, or even dip graham crackers in the salsa!
- 2 granny smith apples
- 1 lemon
- 2 kiwis
- 1 lb strawberries
- ½ lb raspberries
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons preserves (I used raspberry)
- Zest the lemon and set aside. Peel and finely chop apple, squeeze 2 teaspoons lemon juice over apples and mix well to combine.
- Finely chop strawberries and kiwis. Gently combine all ingredients, the raspberries will break apart a bit but that’s what you want. Allow to sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before serving.
Read more (including the cinnamon crisps recipe!) here.
O N E-I N G R E D I E N T I C E C R E A M
I’ve saved the simplest (and possibly the yummiest) recipe for last. All you need for this ice cream is a banana, a freezer, and a blender or food processor! There’s also lots of opportunity to add variety with things like peanut butter, cinnamon, or cocoa powder.
1 large ripe banana
Airtight, freezer-safe container
Small food processor
- Start with ripe bananas: They should be sweet and soft.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into coins: It doesn’t matter what shape or size the pieces are in, as long as they are chopped up into evenly sized and somewhat small pieces.
- Put the bananas in an airtight container: A freezer-safe glass bowl like this one is fine, or you can use a freezer bag.
- Freeze the banana pieces for at least 2 hours: Freeze for at least 2 hours, but ideally overnight.
- Blend the frozen banana pieces in a small food processor or powerful blender: Pulse the frozen banana pieces. We’ve found that a small food processor or chopper works best.
- Keep blending — the banana will look crumbly: At first the banana pieces will look crumbled or smashed. Scrape down the food processor.
- Keep blending — the banana will look gooey: Then it will look gooey, like banana mush. Scrape down the food processor.
- Keep blending — the banana will look like oatmeal: It will get smoother but still have chunks of banana in it. Scrape down the food processor.
- Watch the magic happen! Suddenly, as the last bits of banana smooth out, you’ll see the mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate the ice cream. (If adding any mix-ins, like peanut butter or chocolate chips, this is the moment to do it.)
- Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, but it will be quite soft. You can also transfer it back into the airtight container and freeze it until solid, like traditional ice cream.
Read more here.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve got some serious kitchen hours ahead of me. Eat up, and enjoy your fruity freewheeling as much as I know I will!
Thank you to all these fabulous food bloggers for their recipes!